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Open Letter to Donald Trump

Dear Mr. Trump – you want to “make America safe again”?
I hear you say this over and over again in your campaign rallies, your interviews and the debates. I cannot comment on the veracity of your statistics or the genuineness of one of your go-to slogans.
Now would be a good time to demonstrate the leadership qualities of humility and to apologize wholeheartedly for your ‘locker room talk.’
You say that you apologized and others have backed you up.
But you have made the classic move that a sexual offender makes when caught for their actions.
You have said…
I’m sorry… if I offended anyone

I’m sorry… but I’m not a perfect person.
I’m sorry… but this doesn’t reflect who I am
I’m sorry… but I’ve done a lot of good
I’m sorry… but there are more important things to look at
I’m sorry… but Bill and Hillary Clinton have done worse.

This is not a sincere apology.

Mr. Trump – it was good and right that you said this in your public apology: “I said it. I was wrong. And I apologize.” You should have started and ended with these words. Maybe you could have offered us how you’ve worked to change your attitudes and words inciting violence against women. Though given the allegations that are popping up, it would be difficult to be honest or genuine. But owning what you did, stating that it was wrong and apologizing without any ifs or buts, would have been a good thing at a time like this.

As soon as you say “if I have offended anyone” – you demonstrate that you don’t really think you’ve done anything wrong. Instead, it is other people’s perceptions that cast you in a bad light, not your own words or actions. As soon as you say “but”, you negate the apology. As soon as you say someone did worse than you, you show that you really don’t know the gravity of your actions. As soon as you focus on how wonderful you really are, you minimize your apology.

So no… Mr. Trump did not offer a sincere apology. And until you make a sincere apology, I do not think you truly care about making America safe again. Until we see fruits of repentance – of a truly changed heart that has learned things along the way – the kind of America you have to offer is sadly the kind of society that so much of us already live in.

Why does this matter so much?

 
I suggest you do some research on how many women and children experience what you diminished and falsely label as “locker room talk”. Take a look into the prevalence of men using words, power, and actions to take advantage of far too many every single day.
 
You say it’s just words.
I don’t believe you.
But suppose for a moment, it’s “just words”.
 
Know that anyone who has experienced sexual assault will not feel safe in your version of America where it’s ok for anyone, let alone a presidential candidate to speak so crassly.
 
To deny it’s lewdness.
 
To diminish it’s effect.
 
It would do you good – if you really want to “make America safe again” to understand the gravity of sexual assault.
 
I know too many people to count who have to live out the reality of being sexually assaulted.
 
I have witnessed how long it takes to recover – if recovery is even possible.
 
I’ve seen the toll on their mental and physical health.
 
I’ve seen how it wreaks havoc in their relationships.
 
I’ve seen how the pain and memories can be all consuming.
 
I’ve seen how one is not the same after they have been assaulted.
 
I’ve seen the cost that victims of what you describe in your “locker room talk” bear.
 
Your words – even if they are “just words” – are not acceptable.
At all.
 
But even more so because you claim to be a leader and worthy of being the president of one of the most powerful countries in our world.
And in case this isn’t sufficient reason, it’s because your campaign is based on making America safe and great again.
 
(Maybe as a primer – watch this short clip by Joe Biden on Sexual Assault https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilOEuIxpfz4)
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